Monday, June 25, 2012

Paris in July

Once again, Karen from Bookbath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea are hosting Paris in July!  This a really fun event.  The guidelines are easy -- no minimums, just blogging about pretty much anything French-inspired, including reading French books, watching French movies, eating French food [!!] or reminiscing about French travel experiences.  What's not to like?

It was so much fun reading books about France last year, and I loved discovering so many new books on the blogosphere.  Of course, I'll be participating again.  This year I'm going to try and coordinate my French reads with my remaining challenge books and with the Victorian celebration -- and of course, I'm always trying to read books off the TBR shelves!

Here are some possible titles from my own shelves:

The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief by Maurice Leblanc
Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Plus, I'm definitely going to read another book by Emile Zola.
I still have several unread:

The Earth
The Ladies' Paradise
L'Assommoir (The Drinking Den)
The Masterpiece

And there are a few that I might check out from the library:

Clochemerle by Gabriel Chevallier
A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe
Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
Bonjour, Tristesse by Francoise Sagan

Ideally, I'd like to read at least four, but two or three would be great too -- if I complete one from each list, I'll be happy.

And I'd like to watch some French movies as well.  I have a long list I've never seen, including:

La Bete Humaine
The Class
I've Loved You So Long
Kings of Pastry
My Father's Glory
Paris, Je T'aime
Queen Margot
Queen to Play
A Town Called Panic

How about you, bloggers?  Anyone else signing up?  What are you reading?  And which of these books do you recommend?


  1. I just finished a French novel and was planning on publishing my review first week of July. Serendipity! I have another on the TBR shelf that I wanted to get to soon. So, I guess I'll join in.

    I thoroughly enjoyed A Novel Bookstore by the way. It's not great literature, but it was great fun.

    1. CB, I'm looking forward to your review -- can you give us a hint?

      I haven't read any of the Europa books so I thought A Novel Bookstore would be a good place to start. I've read so few books in translation!

  2. I participated last year, but wasn't planning to this July because I am too swamped with work and our summer reading program to think about French culture. However, I do own a copy of Bonjour, Tristesse and know that it is very short so I could join and read it for my contribution. Hmmmm.....
    I loved The Scapegoat as a teen and still remember it as being a wonderful and suspenseful tale.

    1. I haven't read any DuMaurier for awhile so this might be just the thing for summer! I'm going on vacation so I think this will be a good choice.

  3. What a great list--I've been wanting to particpate but wasn't sure what to read, until I read your list and remembered that I received A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse as gift last year and still haven't read it, so that's my French book for this July!

    I haven't read DuMaurier's Scapegoat yet but I also have that, so maybe I'll tackle two!

    1. I'm hoping to read at least three but I'm also trying to read lots of Victorians for the Victorian celebration -- I'll probably choose some that cross over so I can use them for both.

  4. Can't participate in anything else(!) but I would highly recommend The Ladies Paradise. It's ahead of its time. Particularly around shopping and conspicuous consumption.

    1. I just put Ladies' Paradise in my book bag for my vacation next week! I'm going to Disneyland, which your basic mecca for conspicuous consumption, so it's very timely.

  5. I've read quite a few of your choices but I'm really curious to see how you will like the Chevallier which I don't know.
    I have so many French books to choose from but unfortunately not all that many have been translated. It's a pity. I really wonder how they managed to translate Zazie a book I really liked.
    I hope you will enjoy your choices.

    1. Zazie looks like a fun read, I hope I can get it from the library in time.

  6. A Ladies' Paradise sounds like an interesting one.

    A Novel Bookstore was quite interesting. I enjoyed it. It had a great premise.

    1. The Ladies' Paradise seems to be the favorite at the moment. The other Zolas look good but somewhat depressing -- sounds more fun than a prostitute (Nana), an alcoholic (L'Assommoir) or fighting over the family farm (The Earth). The Masterpiece sounds really interesting though.

  7. Ooh Arsene Lupin is available in English? I read briefly about that character in a French class I was taking last year and he sounded so interesting but I couldn't find the books in French or English. Penguin to the rescue. Thanks!

    1. I love Penguins, I keep finding new ones to read. If you have time, check out the Penguin classics website, there's someone who's doing a classics A to Z challenge, which is where I first heard of Zazie. He did the whole alphabet once and now he's on the second round. Interesting stuff!

  8. It sounds like a great event! I may have to sign up....

    I liked A Novel Bookstore. There was a pretentious side to it that might have bothered me depending on when I was reading it, but I was generally okay with it. I think it helped that I kind of knew that was what I was getting into, though.


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